Caramel loves to read books about real things. In his first review of a nonfiction book, he told us about Knights and Castles (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #2) by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne. Here he shares his enthusiasm about another favorite: The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Reptiles by Chris McNab. Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.
Sprinkles: Caramel, you chose a big book for your review this time, right? This is a big format book, quite heavy, too, with 160 pages!
Caramel: Yes! This is a really big book. I have to put it on the ground to read it.
S: It has lots of colorful pictures, right?
C: Yes, including a pachycephalosaurus! Did you know that a pachycephalosaurus is a bonehead?
S: What’s a bonehead?
C: These are dinosaurs that use their heads to fight. They charge each other with their heads and then they bump, crash into each other. Pachycephalosaur means “thick-headed lizard” apparently.
S: That’s weird! What else is in the book?
C: On each page there are lots of dinosaurs and other reptiles. There are crocodiles and flying reptiles. Here is one of my favorites: terrestrisuchus. But I don’t really know how to pronounce it! Anyways the book tells us:
Terrestrisuchus was smaller than Gracilisuchus (about 10 inches tall). Its body was short but its tail was twice the length of its body and head put together. It had long legs and must have sprinted over the dry landscape, snapping up insects and small lizards in its long jaws. It probably ran mostly on four legs, but could have run even faster on just its back legs, using its tail for balance.
S: So dinosaurs and prehistoric reptiles came in all sorts of sizes, right? Which of the bigger dinosaurs do you like most?
C: Other than pachycephalosaurus? Velociraptors! They ran fast! And they had feathers! But they couldn’t fly, so scientists think that they used their feathers to keep warm.
S: So there were flying dinosaurs too?
C: Pteranodon flew of course! But there were also other flying reptiles. Some lizards would glide!
S: Dinosaurs in this book seem to be all over the world, there were different types of dinosaurs in different places, and they also lived in different times, right?
C: Yes. Scientists think the earth is 4.5 billion years old. And the book starts at the beginning, with life in the seas, then moving on to land.
S: So the book is organized historically. There are about twelve pages about early life and then we begin learning about dinosaurs. Every now and then we look at different geographies. What happens in the end?
C: In the end the dinosaurs went extinct. But scientists don’t really know exactly why and how. It is kind of sad.
S: Yes, it is indeed sad Caramel, but if dinosaurs had not gone extinct, there might not be much room on this planet for us rabbits.
C: Good point! We might not have enough food to go all around for all of us. Still I like to learn about dinosaurs. They are very interesting!